SEED AND SERVICE PROVIDERS
A successful prairie planting requires good seed, proper installation and timely management. Knowledgeable, experienced seed vendors and service providers help ensure the best outcome.
To help you find quality seed and qualified service providers in Iowa, the Tallgrass Prairie Center has compiled a list of native seed vendors and contractors doing business across the state. This list is provided as a public service and constitutes no endorsement by the TPC.
Two versions of the list are provided: an Excel file, which can be sorted to simplify searching, and a PDF for printing.
This list will be updated as needed. Service providers not currently listed should contact the Tallgrass Prairie Center at (319) 273-3836 for consideration.
NATIVE PLANT INFORMATION
Plants that occurred naturally as part of an area’s original landscape are considered native to that state or region. Learn about the native plants of Iowa using these online resources:
This plant database is designed to help you identify plant species native to Iowa and eligible for LRTF grant funds.
This online edition of An Illustrated Guide to Iowa Prairie Plants (University of Iowa Press, 1999) helps users identify Iowa's prairie plants and learn more about their distribution, structure and natural history.
The PLANTS Database provides standardized information about the vascular and non-vascular plants of the U.S. and its territories. It includes distributional data, characteristics, images, crop information, onward Web links and more.
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Texas has compiled information about nearly all commercially available native plant species suitable for planned landscapes in the United States. Head straight to the Iowa species at this link.
Use Audubon’s native plants database to find the best native plants for birds in your area. The database draws its plant data from the North American Plant Atlas of the Biota of North America Program (BONAP).
Based on the research of Dr. Doug Tallamy, this database lets you discover native plants, ranked by the number of butterfly and moth species that use them as host plants for their caterpillars.
This database from Missouri helps you pick the right plant for the right place. Of course not all Missouri plants are native to Iowa, but many are.
Curated by the Missouri Botanical Garden, this comprehensive list of plants native to our neighboring state can be searched by flower color and/or leaf characteristics. The fabulous photographs make this site – which includes many Iowa natives – worth a look.
Another neighboring state provides great information and images.
Whether you’re recreating a large prairie landscape or simply gardening with a few native prairie plants, plenty of online resources, books and other publications are available to help. Here are some from the Tallgrass Prairie Center:
Ten technical guides cover topics from seed collection and mix design, to site seeding and management. These guides were created using information from The Tallgrass Prairie Center Guide to Restoration in the the Upper Midwest (see below).
This manual brings together absolutely everything that you need to know for a successful prairie restoration.
Accurate identification of prairie seedlings helps you nurture your young prairie planting. This guide simplifies seedling ID.
A series of how-to videos take you from planning through planting.
LANDOWNER INCENTIVE PROGRAMS
A number of incentive programs are available to help Iowa landowners create and manage native landscapes.
The United States Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency (FSA) oversees a number of voluntary, conservation-related incentive programs including the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) and more.
The United State Department of Agriculture's Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) offers a variety of voluntary programs to eligible landowners and ag producers to help sustainably manage natural resources. These include the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and more.
This link provides a comprehensive list of funding opportunities for agricultural producers and other landowners through the NRCS. (Some of the programs listed here are also listed at the two preceding links.)
The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) helps landowners, land trusts and other entities protect, restore and enhance wetlands, grasslands and working farms and ranches through conservation easements.
Working within nine Iowa watersheds, the Iowa Watershed Approach provides financial assistance (up to 90%) for a variety of conservation practices, including prairie establishment.
This partnership between the Iowa Native Seed Growers Association, the Iowa Chapter of Pheasants Forever and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources helps Iowans plant Iowa-grown native seed for wildlife habitat projects.
A list of the Iowa DNR's private lands initiatives, as well as a link to its private lands program staff.
Financial assistance for conservation practices is available through IDALS. Fund allocations are made to soil and water conservation districts, where commissioners set priorities for their use, and field office staff provide technical assistance.
The Partners for Fish & Wildlife program works with private landowners to improve fish and wildlife habitat on their lands. Financial assistance may be available.
Trees Forever funding programs pool resources from donors and sponsors to provide financial assistance for conservation projects.
IOWA PRAIRIE ORGANIZATIONS
Join a community of like-minded individuals dedicated to promoting and protecting Iowa’s rich prairie heritage.
Join the Friends to become a part of the TPC’s mission and activities. Get involved as a participant or volunteer in seminars, field trips, conferences and other educational opportunities.
The Iowa Native Plant Society is a forum for plant enthusiasts, gardeners and professional botanists to exchange ideas and information, and work together to encourage conservation and ethical use of Iowa's plants; appreciate and enjoy Iowa's native flora and promote education about Iowa's plants, their habitats and cultural habits, and the preservation of these plants and their environment.
The Iowa Prairie Network is a grass-roots, volunteer, organization that dedicated to the preservation of Iowa's prairie heritage.
The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF) is a nonprofit conservation organization that works with private landowners and public agencies to protect and restore Iowa’s land, water and wildlife. To date, our members and staff have protected more than 170,000 acres of Iowa’s natural resources.
Pheasants Forever is dedicated to the conservation of pheasants, quail and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public awareness, education and land management policies and programs, including its Native Seed Program.
Loess Hills Wild Ones is the only Wild Ones chapter in Iowa. Located in the northern Loess Hills (Monona, Woodbury, and Plymouth Counties), members are welcome from the wider region.
SIOSA is a non profit organization involved in the awareness, preservation and conservation of Iowa's oak savanna, oak woodland and prairie ecosystem.
The Nature Conservancy in Iowa works to preserve the state’s natural landscapes through the advancement of land and water conservation practices.